About 85 local families will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday courtesy of the Johnstown Northridge Food Pantry and its contributors and supporters.

About 85 local families will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday courtesy of the Johnstown Northridge Food Pantry and its contributors and supporters.

Pantry director Ruth Krumm said about 85 Thanksgiving food baskets were scheduled to be distributed yesterday (Saturday) and today at the pantry, located in the Johnstown Independent Baptist Church, 7397 Johnstown-Alexandria Road.

"There aren't as many as last year," she said. "We had about 100 last year, but this year we have more families going to grandma's or a family member's for dinner."

The pantry is providing fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery and lettuce; sweet potatoes, a bottle of salad dressing, cranberries, baked beans, green beans, bread, a pie mix and a gift certificate to purchase meat at a local grocery store.

"If people could just see the thankfulness and tears of joy we get," said Krumm, who has led the effort for the past 18 years.

The Knights of Columbus annually sponsors a fall food drive to help keep the pantry stocked, but this year the overall collection was down by more than half from 2007. The total number of items donated to the pantry from donations collected within the Johnstown and Northridge school districts was 14,379, down from 41,826 items last year.

Johnstown-Monroe High School collected 5,238 items compared to Northridge High School's 756. Other Johnstown Local School District donations included: Adams Middle School, 857; Oregon, 1,958; and Searfoss, 1,431. A breakdown of Northridge contributions were Northridge Junior High, 1,653; Northridge Intermediate School, 1,036; and Alexandria, 1,450 donations.

In addition to providing Thanksgiving staples to families in need, the pantry operates a Christmas Adopt-a-Family program.

"As long as I can move, I'll try to see that kids have a Christmas," Krumm said.

So far, the pantry has received requests to adopt 58 families that include more than 200 children.

"We have one family with six kids and another with eight," Krumm said. "Some families include (adult) children who have come back home with their kids. Most of the families have two or three people in them."

She said about half of the 58 families have been adopted so far.

Anyone who would like to adopt a family for Christmas can call Krumm at 740-924-2835.